Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Size: 5,303 hectares.
Distance from San José: 241 kilometers.
Dry season: February, March, June, September and October.
Camping: Not permitted.
Trails: Yes.


Gandoca Manzanillo is one of the best Wildlife places in the country. The coast consists of several reef outcroppings interspersed with white sand beaches.
Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, located about 12 kilometers southeast of Puerto Viejo, and is south of the village of Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast is one of the most beautiful and scenic attractions in Costa Rica. Fine sand beaches, gentle waves, coral reefs near the surface of the sea make this region a paradise for nature lovers and underwater enthusiasts.
The terrain is flat of the refuge to gently rolling hills with the sedimentary rocks from the river Banano, no higher than 100 meters above sea level.
Some marine life thrives in the coral reef include lobsters, sponges, red and black sea urchins, green anemones, crabs, octopus, sea cucumbers, shrimp, and occasionally green turtles.
The refuge protects many species of animals that are endangered, either as the crocodile and the tapir, or their population has dramatically reduced as the Cayman, pacas, keel-billed toucans, and ornate hawk eagle.
There are also mammals such as tapirs, rodents and manatees, and other large lizards and snakes.
Just south of the small village of Manzanillo, this refuge is located about 12 kilometers southeast from Puerto Viejo.